Language Culture And Global Competence An Essay On Ambiguity
From birth humans communicate, at first in order to survive - to ensure that needs are met.But at an amazing rate communication becomes refined into language, one of the defining characteristics of human beings.Since effective communication has much to do with reading intentions and contexts correctly, insights are provided into relevant cultural, social and psychological variables. But at an amazing rate communication becomes refined into language, one of the defining characteristics of human beings.
(Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1994, 16) Language is one of our most basic instincts.Through careful and critical attention to various aspects of diplomatic language we can improve our understanding of both the explicit and implicit messages world leaders and other political figures send out, and improve our own ability to communicate in the most effective and appropriate ways.Popular dichotomy views words as distinct from actions. The Speech Act theory shows that not only do words have the power to give rise to actions, but many utterances are a form of action in themselves.Life is full of ambiguities, but as teachers we generally try to teach our students in a manner that sanitizes knowledge of all of its ambiguities.In doing so, we create an educational environment which forces students to learn in a rather meaningless fashion and this in turn leads to a lack of vitality and relevance within the academy. As teachers, we should reflect on the epistemological foundations of our theories of learning and teaching and to closely examine how our teaching devices and techniques adhere to our theories.Despite the changes, core issues remain fundamental to the practice of diplomacy.What makes one set of words more convincing than another, and how can language best be put to work in the service of diplomacy and international relations?Language can also serve as a form of action: when we warn, threaten, promise, suggest, agree, advise or otherwise, we are doing something, and not merely something.The role of the unsaid in communication (the meaningful silence) is equally crucial.Language is as much important today as it was to the first envoys and negotiators.Today, technology is continuously shaping certain aspects of language and diplomacy, with the introduction of new tools for communication and interpretation, novel ways of capturing and preserving diplomatic documents, and methods that facilitate online negotiations.